August 16, 2022

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The Passionate of Travel

Liverpool squad arrive in Manchester ahead of title showdown after late injury scare

Liverpool were dealt a late injury scare involving Roberto Firmino ahead of their huge Premier League title showdown before travelling to Manchester to take on Man City

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Jurgen Klopp previews Man City clash

Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool players have arrived in Manchester ahead of what could be a decisive day in the Premier League title race.

The Reds take on Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium with just one point separating the two sides, though their preparations were disrupted by an injury scare involving Roberto Firmino. The Brazilian, who featured in the reverse fixture at Anfield, wasn’t spotted at first-team training on Friday.

However, Firmino was among those spotted arriving at the Hyatt Hotel ahead of Sunday’s blockbuster game. Liverpool could well be at full strength for the clash, but that doesn’t mean Klopp won’t have some tough decisions to make.

The two sides have shared the last two Premier League titles between them, with Liverpool triumphant in 2019-20 and City reclaiming their title the following year. “The consistency both teams have shown over the period is crazy,” Klopp said, with his team finishing as runners-up in 2018-19 despite amassing 97 points.

“We know it’s tough,” he added, “What has changed in the four years is everybody else thinks it’s tough.”

The teams have already met once this season at Anfield, with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah netting for Liverpool in a 2-2 draw. Salah was among those spotted arriving at the Hyatt Hotel in Manchester, while Firmino’s presence suggested he’s over his scare.

Who will win at the Etihad on Sunday? Have your say in the comments section







Salah was seen arriving with fellow forward Diogo Jota
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Eamonn and James Clarke)







Firmino was in attendance after an injury scare
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Eamonn and James Clarke)

One man who Liverpool weren’t able to call upon in the reverse fixture is Luis Diaz. The Colombian has been among the goals since arriving from Porto in January, and joined his teammates as they continued their preparations for the showdown.

Diaz was praised by Gary Lineker after scoring in the recent Champions League victory away to Benfica, with the pundit calling his goal “superb”. It was his third goal for the Merseyside club, after efforts in the league victories over Norwich and Brighton.

Another member of the Reds’ daunting front-line, Senegal forward Mane, was also spotted. The former Southampton man was sent off in a defeat away to City in 2017, but scored against Pep Guardiola’s side in 2019 and 2021.







Mane scored in this season’s reverse fixture
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Eamonn and James Clarke)







Diaz could get a chance to impress against the champions
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While Diaz was on the scoresheet against Benfica, Fabinho suffered a clash of heads in the game in Portugal. The former Monaco man had been a slight doubt, but his presence suggests he will be available for selection.

Liverpool’s choice of midfield three will be a curious one. Fabinho started the reverse fixture alongside Jordan Henderson and Curtis Jones, but it was Thiago who played alongside the two Englishmen in last weekend’s game against Watford.

The former Bayern Munich star was also spotted arriving in Manchester, as he aims to stake his claim for a start. There will be plenty of competition, though, with Naby Keita also in the mix after his performance at Estadio da Luz.







Fabinho had suffered a clash of heads in midweek
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Eamonn and James Clarke)







Thiago will hope to be involved again
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Eamonn and James Clarke)

The task awaiting Liverpool is a simple one. Win and they go top, draw and they stay in touch, but lose and the title may well be City’s.

Klopp’s men are coming off 10 straight victories in the league, with the run of results allowing them to close the gap on a City side who once looked out of sight. However, defeat on Sunday could mean it’s all for nothing.

Liverpool and City are both all but assured of a top four finish, sitting comfortably clear of fifth-place Arsenal after the Gunners dropped more points on Saturday. However, Sunday’s game is all about the title and the title alone.

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